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#1 Posted : Wednesday, June 8, 2011 4:24:35 PM(UTC)

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Like the title says, do you prefer 3rd ed.(in any/all of it's incarnations) or 4e?


Personally I prefer 4e. 

The classes/roles seem more balanced and there is less obvious cheeze kicking around that I'd need to give a solid whack with the "Ban Hammer" (I'm my live group's default GM in most games).  Also encounters seem to be more fair, with less chance of a single bad die roll screwing the group over (though a couple of rounds where nobody can roll over a '5' still does hurt...).

I like that low level casters can go beyond a single battle before they have to turn in for the day and that at high level they aren't essensially unworshipped gods.

I like that most battles are actual battles rather than the gang-beating of a single or pair of monsters like 3rd was (seriously, go over 4 enemies in a level apporpriate battle in 3rd and they stop being a threat to the group at all).

I like that the fighter can actually help out in non-combat situations (and isn't overshadowed in the actual combats by the healer or tracker)

I like that there is a point to possessing good skills amongst the party rather than solving all of your problems with a few spells in mid-high games.


What do you guys prefer/think?

#2 Posted : Thursday, March 15, 2012 9:49:10 PM(UTC)

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Just from what I've read, 4e seems to be a much more forgiving system, and fair at the same time.  I do feel that 3.5 is a bit more flexible in what you can do with it, I sort of get the feeling of railroading in my (very) limited experience in 4e. My experience even with 3.5 may be a bit tainted, however, as my first DM attempted to through a Mindflayer Psion against us at 2nd level as an attempt to push us towards "other" paths.  The best part was we nearly killed it because of hilariously ridiculous dice rolls.  However, I'm rambling.

I prefer the combat of 4e, but I can't get my live group to try it for the life of me.  I'm probably going to end up sneaking the Red Box in on one of our weekly sessions and claim the table for the night.  All in all, I like 'em both, but wish I could mix the two.

#3 Posted : Friday, March 16, 2012 12:13:42 AM(UTC)

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In my opinion, 4e was a better, more focused design.

That said, I'm seeing a lot of room where 3.5 could have been made better without having the same focus as 4e.  I kind of think that's what a lot of 5e will look like.

So, 4e, but I think I can appreciate 3.5 again (at least as a DM).

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#4 Posted : Friday, March 16, 2012 4:16:15 AM(UTC)

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My initial introduction to D&D was 3.0, though that was quickly replaced with 3.5. Of my usual group I was the only one who was really keen to try 4e when it came out, though we went to some showcase games for the core books. Since then I've played a few games, some long running IRL and in each I felt like I was missing the point. The majority of D&D games I play, though, are pathfinder (a sort of 3.75 version of D&D) which is a lor more streamlined that 3.5 and - generally - less broken.

I want to say now that as with all games, it really depends on how you roleplay your character and your DM's strengths and weaknesses that define the quality of a game. BUT.

4e, for me, was mechanically not much fun. It was useful having such a tactical focus to a game (because until then we'd never really bothered with tactical maps) and it is certainly much more forgiving for the DM in terms of encounter building. However, I find it really detractsfrom the out of combat game, which seems to have devolved into skill challenges or buying loot. Characters are much more limited in their utility abilities (casters especially) and this takes the focus away from that side of the game, which is a bad thing in my mind.
It's not that you *can't* do out of combat stuff, it's that the game isn't focussed that way and a lot of people lose sight of it because of that.

Not that Pathfinder is also combat oriented, that's kind of the point of the game, but I feel that you'll be judged much less by the party if you aren't optimised for combat. The point of the god-wizard idea is that you really need to know what spells you need for situation X, Y and Z and be totally prepared for them, not an easy feat.

In terms of wizards, I find that they really suffer in the early game in 4e, what with their low attack rolls and comparitively weak abilities, so I don't see how they're different from any other iterations wizards.

Lately I've dabbled in AD&D a bit too, and after the 3.5 I find it really hard to get my head around. All of it seems so open to misinterpretation and ambiguous situations which are ok provided your players aren't the type to bitch and moan if the DM declares something. And let's face it, a lot of players are.

Long post, I know, so here's a succint conclusion:
Each iteration of D&D has made the rules more strict and clear, I find that this allows people to DM or be a player whenever they want, everything is a bit more accessible. But it does mean that a lot of the flexibility is lost in terms of style. Players develop this idea of the game that they will defend aggressively if they feel that their character isn't as powerful as they expected, of if they have an ability that doesn't affect a monster they way they think it should, based on the rules.

#5 Posted : Thursday, March 22, 2012 3:02:14 PM(UTC)

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I found alot of things broken in 3.0 and 3.5.  The saves system was definately broken as difficulty rose not by level of challenge, but by monster hit dice.  When your saves are getting minutely better every three levels or so and the monsterings HD are doubling in that same amount of time, avoiding effects becomes laughable in a very short amount of time.  Especially poison and stat damage.  Once they succeed once against you, you're done because after the penalties start adding up, it goes from unlikely to downright impossible.  Sure a cleric can heal it afterwards, but if you're dead or incapacitated by it in combat, does it really matter? Paralysis effects are measured in hours or sometimes days.  Armour stops being armour around level 4 and simply becomes "maybe his 3rd attack will miss."  Limiting characters to one attack if they move, while giving monsters reach and pounce.  Ranged chars are the only ones who get full use of their char's abilities.

Anywhoo, way too many memories of characters you get attached to through role playing, ending with one die role, then watching the same happen to the entire party.  Campaign death = single die role.

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